By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — In their offseason quest for bullpen help, the Red Sox continue to show interest on right-hander Adam Ottavino.
But as expected, they are not alone. And it now appears they’ll have to compete against two teams from New York if they want to add Ottavino to their pen.
Both the New York Mets and New York Yankees are showing interest in the Brooklyn native, with Joel Sherman reporting that the Yankees met with Ottavino’s representatives at the MLB Winter Meetings in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Ottavino is high on the Yankees’ offseason wishlist, according to Sherman.
Ottavino, 33, had a stellar breakout season in 2018 for the Colorado Rockies, striking out 112 batters over 77.2 innings in 75 appearances to go with his 2.43 ERA. He has spent the last seven seasons in Colorado after starting his Major League career in St. Louis, going 17-20 with 17 saves, a 3.68 ERA and a 1.257 WHIP.
Though he was born in New York, Ottavino does have a connection to Boston. He went to Northeastern University and holds the school records for most career strikeouts (290) and strikeouts in a season (120). He was the second-highest MLB draft pick out of the school, drafted 30th overall by the Cardinals in 2006.
The righty also made some headlines during a recent appearance on MLB’s Statcast Podcast, when he said he’d easily strike out Babe Ruth if the two squared off in this era.
“I’m not trying to disrespect him, you know, rest in peace, you know, shoutout to Babe Ruth. But it was a different game. I mean, the guy ate hot dogs and drank beer and did whatever he did. It was just a different game,” said Ottavino.
That’s not quite what Pedro Martinez had in mind when he told reporters to “wake up the damn Bambino” back in 2001, but it sounds like Ottavino would fit right into the Boston locker room.